As we watch the news stories of the horrible flash flooding in the Texas and other states, we are reminded that flood waters can truly be dangerous! How can you be safe when the waters rush your way? A healthy respect and awareness of dangerous conditions are the best defense. Here are a few resources for you.
First, listen to weather reports or download an app like the one available through the American Red Cross. Knowing what is going on, when to evacuate, when to get to higher ground, is crucial to your safety. Don’t wait. If flash flooding is predicted, get to higher ground immediately. If you wait until it is too late, you and your family might be trapped with no way to leave. As many have tragically learned in Texas, being inside a building does not necessarily protect you from the power of flash floods.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown! It is a phrase that we hear often, maybe too often. We forget that there is some really strong evidence to back it up. Almost 60% of all flood deaths are caused when people choose to drive through standing water and are swept away. This PSA from the US National Weather Service shows just how easy it is to put yourself in danger. What’s under that water? The road could be washed away; the water could be deeper than you think, or you could simply underestimate the power of the water current. All three factors can play a part in pushing your vehicle off the road. Don’t do it! Don’t drive through flooded areas. Just Don’t!
Still not convinced? Really? Well, if you aren’t worried about yourself, what about your car? This video shows the surprising results of driving through flood waters. You may not realize it, but even a few inches of water can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Even if you actually make it across what appears to be a small pool of water, you may find an expensive repair bill waiting on the other side! Don’t risk it! Turn around. Find a safer way. Your mom and your auto mechanic will thank you!
But what do you do if you are trapped? How do you know where to go? How do you pick up the pieces after your return to your flooded home? FEMA has some guidelines to help you. From preparing to evacuating to returning home, these helpful tips are a great way to learn more. Check them out. You may be surprised by what you learn. Remember: being prepared is the easiest and best way to survive any emergency!